How Germanwings Flight 9525 fell to earth

The Airbus A320 airliner en route from Barcelona to Düsseldorf, Germany, suddenly shifted into a rapid dive only moments after reaching its cruising altitude of 38,000 feet. Within minutes, the plane fell off French radar screens and slammed into rugged mountains. Recovery operations are expected to be challenging because of weather and the remote, steep terrain. Read related article.

Sources: Flightradar24.com, FlightAware.com ; Image sources: Landsat, Cnes/Spot and DigitalGlobe via GoogleEarth | Gene Thorp and Richard Johnson/The Washington Post March 24, 2015
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